The Joint CMS-CITES African Carnivore Initiative (ACI)
The African Carnivores Initiative is an umbrella initiative that targets four iconic African carnivore species: the African Lion (Panthera leo), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), Leopard (Panthera pardus), and African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus).
According to the most recent Red List Assessments of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), populations of African Lion (2016), Cheetah (2015), Leopard (2016) and African Wild Dog (2012) are in constant - and sometimes severe - decline across the African continent. The only exception to this is the lion population in Southern Africa, where there is a small increase.
The main reasons for their decline are similar for all four species and can be summarized as follows: 1) Habitat loss and fragmentation; 2) Conflict with humans; 3) Depletion of the prey base; and 4) Unsustainable or illegal trade practices.
Substantially increased conservation efforts focusing on these four species will be required to ensure the preservations of some of the most iconic carnivore species in Africa.
The added value of addressing the four iconic species together, and for joining forces of CMS and CITES in this effort, is expected to be multiple and to include:
The CMS and CITES Conferences of Parties have adopted several resolutions and decisions concerning the four species which address various aspects of conservation and trade.
CITES Decision 17.241 on the African Lion (Panthera leo) explicitly calls for cooperation between the CITES Secretariat, the CMS Secretariat and IUCN, whereas CITES Decision 17.236 calls for cooperation with the CMS Secretariat and CITES Decision 17.237 for cooperation with the CMS Secretariat and IUCN.
Further information on the process relating to the development of the CITES decisions on the Lion, adopted at the 17th meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties can be found in document UNEP/CMS/COP12/Doc.126.96.36.199.
The CITES and CMS Resolutions and Decisions related to the four species that are currently covered by the Initiative are the following:
In order to bring more coherence to the implementation of the above-mentioned resolutions and decisions relating to African carnivores, the Secretariats of both Conventions, in line with the Joint Programme of Work, decided to propose the establishment of a Joint CMS-CITES African Carnivores Initiative.
Under CMS Decision 12.56 on the Joint CMS-CITES African Carnivores Initiative, adopted by the 12th Conference of the Parties to CMS in 2017 in Manila, Range States are urged to work through the ACI to implement CMS and CITES decisions and resolutions relating to the four targeted species as a way to increase synergies between the two Conventions.
The Initiative will serve as a guiding mandate to implement future conservation of the 4 target species in the following ways:
|Title||Status||Status date||CMS Party number||Region|
|Burkina Faso||Range State||030||Africa|
|Central African Republic||Range State||128||Africa|
|Congo (Brazzaville)||Range State||066||Africa|
|Côte d'Ivoire||Range State||083||Africa|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)||Range State||034||Africa|
|Equatorial Guinea||Range State||114||Africa|